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Sony’s PlayStation Vue live TV streaming service shuts down in January

PlayStation Vue, Sony’s internet-based live TV streaming service, is about to be no more. According to a statement from Sony, PlayStation Vue will shut down on January 30, 2020, ending an almost four-year run.

Sony says its decision to end PlayStation Vue is based on “expensive content and network deals,” a marketplace that’s been slow to adapt to the rise of live TV streaming, and a desire to focus more on Sony’s “core gaming business.” PlayStation Vue’s closure comes as Sony is prepping for the release of the PlayStation 5, which is expected to arrive in time for the 2020 holiday season.

Reportedly, Vue has been rocky for a while. Last July, Sony increased prices on all Vue packages by $5 to combat rising content fees, making the already pricey service even more expensive. Just a few days ago, news arrived that Sony wanted to sell its PlayStation Vue division, claiming that the service was losing money. It seems that Sony’s seven-figure asking price was too high, however, as Vue will now close entirely.

PlayStation Vue’s closure leaves the PlayStation 4 without any live TV streaming services, although that could change. Because of Vue, Sony refused to let competitors like Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV, and YouTube TV establish apps on the console.

Sony notes that PlayStation 4 owners can still watch TV and movies through the PlayStation Store, which offers a number of programs for rent and purchase, and traditional streaming services like Netflix and Hulu. However, without Vue to worry about, it seems likely that Sony will open the doors to third-party TV services in the near future.

PlayStation Vue was one of the most expensive live TV streaming services on the market, with subscription packages ranging from $50 to $85 in price. However, it was also one of the most full-featured. Vue was the only service to support fast-forwarding through commercials on every network, offered the big four networks (FOX, ABC, NBC, and CBS) to a majority of subscribers, and let customers run five simultaneous streams at no extra cost.  It wasn’t just limited to PlayStation 4 consoles, either. PlayStation Vue ran on Fire TV devices, Roku boxes, and more.

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